How To Back Up Your iPhone SMS Text Messages on Windows


I’ve been asked many times if there is any way to back up and retrieve text messaging content out of an iPhone and if there is any way to keep that data from being accessed. And unfortunately, I wasn’t able to answer that question until now. Came across this website the other day and I finally found out a way that can back up and retrieve SMS text messages from your iPhone devices onto both Mac and Windows systems.

And here is what you need to do.

Firstly, sync your iPhone to iTunes

Yes, you will have to use iTunes to back up your iPhone in order to get access to your text messages data. Connect iPhone to your PC, select Back Up to this computer, make sure Encrypt option unchecked, and click Back Up Now button.

iPhone Backup on iTunes

Secondly, locate the backup file

Once the backup process is done, you need to locate the backup files on your PC. For Windows, iPhone backup files are located at the following folder

%appdata%\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup

If you are not sure what the %appdata% is, check out this post for more details.

iPhone backup location

If your iTunes only sync’d with one iPhone device, you will only see one folder listed there. Because I had sync’d other iPhones before on my computer, I had multiple backup folders listed there.

Now go to the folder that has the latest date time stamp, and locate a file named


Copy it to your desktop or another convenient location, for going through easier for the next step.

Then, upload file and download the output

Now back to this website, upload the file you located and copied in the previous step, to get the readable SMS text messages in 3 output format, Excel, HTML, and PDF.

And surprisingly, the output file of my text messages revealed so much I’ve ever texted all the way back to day 1 I started using iPhone. Quite amazing.

iPhone text message file upload

How can I keep my privacy

While it’s useful to keep a copy of your texting history, it could be bad when your computer is lost. So to keep your privacy, checking the backup option “encrypt iPhone backup” will keep your data safe and inaccessible. What about the iPhone? The best way to keep your data on your iPhone out of other’s hand is to enable the Passcode. The internal storage disk will be encrypted automatically when the passcode is turned on.



  1. The iPhone SMS file is an actual SQLite database that you can view yourself with any SQLite Database manager (Or Firefox/Chrome SQLite Extension) you can then export it it to csv, txt etc. This removes all the privacy issues as you do no not have to upload the file to a 3rd party website etc.

  2. Backuptrans iPhone SMS Backup & Restore is a pc program which lets you backup, export, view or print messages from iPhone on computer. Restore messages to a new iPhone is also supported.


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